Experimental Scoliosis in Primates: A Neurological Cause

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1982;64(4):503-7.


Although a variety of techniques have been used with varying success to induce scoliosis in animals, primates have rarely been used. A series of monkeys is presented where scoliosis developed incidentally during the routine virulence testing of live, attenuated, oral poliomyelitis vaccines by intraspinal injection. The site and extent of histological damage in the different anatomical areas of the spinal cord were examined in 25 scoliotic monkeys and 25 matched controls. Analysis of the data demonstrated that there was significantly greater damage on the convex side of the spinal cords of the scoliotic animals, particularly in the sensory areas-the posterior horn and Clarke's column. Scoliosis was not thought to be caused by clinical poliomyelitis as the involvement of the anterior horn was not significantly greater than in the scoliotic animals than in the controls. These observations are taken to support the view that scoliosis may develop as a result of asymmetrical weakness of the paraspinal muscles due to the loss of proprioceptive innervation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Macaca fascicularis*
  • Macaca*
  • Poliovirus / pathogenicity
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral / toxicity
  • Scoliosis / etiology
  • Scoliosis / pathology*
  • Spinal Cord / pathology*
  • Vaccines, Attenuated / toxicity
  • Virulence


  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral
  • Vaccines, Attenuated